Back in Denver

We had a very nice time in frozen Minnesota, but it was a bit weird to be without high-speed internet access for over a week!

I helped set up a Dell desktop while we were there. It took 2 days and about 2-3 hours on the phone with tech support to pull the DVD drive from the old desktop and install it in the new one. Once it was finally in and working, we discovered there wasn’t a single piece of software on the box that could play a DVD (especially not the ones that kept trying to play it: Real Player, Windows Media Player, Dell Media Experience, another I’m forgetting). When you’re on dial-up and you don’t have DVD software, it costs you $10 for them to ship you a CD with software that really should have been included in the first place.

I was definitely reminded why I keep buying Macs.

Then there is trying to explain how to use the CD burner, import and email digital photos, etc. Seeing people try to do these things for the first time really makes you aware of the usability problems and the barrier to entry many people have with computers. The Mac falls short in this area as well, but not nearly as short as XP does. Much of the :scare: help text :/scare: was only really useful if you already understood the program.

I probably need to review my own software in this light, though tasks and photos are designed with power-users in mind rather than first time users.